Pooled water flowing in the basement of Unit 2 must be removed in stages, a process that could take months. By some estimates, the facility took on as much as 70,000 tons of radioactive water.
At least a third of it must be removed before work can begin to restore cooling systems inside Units 1,2, and 3.
Tokyo Electric Power Company, TEPCO, will transport the water to a storage building that was used previously to house water with slightly elevated levels of radiation. That water was eventually dumped into the ocean.
Workers must restore the cooling systems before they can begin a cold shutdown of the plant. TEPCO says it will take at least nine months to get to that stage.
The nuclear plant was all but destroyed in the March dual disaster of an earthquake and tsunami.
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